Installing Central AC in an Old House the Right Way


If you think that living in an older home means having to sacrifice modern amenities, like central air conditioning, think again. Central air conditioning can be installed in an older home, and it can even be done without sacrificing your home’s old world charm.

It may just cost a little more and take a little longer. If your older home does not currently have ductwork installed, you will have to install it and add that expense to your list of other costs.

Adding new ductwork to an older home may require walls to be demolished and ceilings to be lowered. You should always hire a licensed central air conditioner company, in particular, one who has experience working with older homes.

Proper Sizing is Crucial

When purchasing a central AC for your home, be sure to buy the right size unit. Too often homeowners will buy an AC that is too big for their house which can cause problems.

If your central air conditioner is too big for your square footage, it will be forced to cycle on and off frequently costing you more in energy costs.

You can calculate the proper size AC for your space by simply multiplying the home’s square footage by 25. Then, divide by 12,000 and subtract .05. What you get will be the correct size of AC in tons. A reputable central air conditioner contractor can help you determine the proper central AC size for your older home. Consider these factors when shopping for your new AC system:

  • Age of the house
  • How high are the ceilings?
  • Square footage of the space
  • Will you need to add ductwork?
  • Is the home well insulated?
  • How many windows are in the home?
  • Door jams, old windows allow drafts to enter home

No Ducts? No Problem

You won’t find ductwork in most older homes. This means that ductwork will also need to be installed, which means breaking into walls and lowering the ceiling to do a proper installation.

Owners of older homes generally want to preserve the old home’s original charm, so breaking into walls and lowering ceilings may be out of the question for them. Isn’t there another option?

Yes, there is. If the idea of demolishing your old home to put in an AC system doesn’t sit well with you, you can purchase a ductless HVAC system instead. A ductless HVAC system, or a mini-split system, can provide cooling comfort in the summer without having to sacrifice your old house’s unique character. Mini-split systems push cool air through smaller ducts that are inserted into walls and ceilings without the need for demolition.

What You Can Expect to Pay

Installing central air conditioning in your older home is totally worth the cost. You are looking at anywhere between $3,500 to $5,000.

This amount is contingent upon many factors, and it includes only the AC system itself and labor costs. The price will increase you have to install ductwork.

The bottom line is that with central air conditioning in your older home you can improve your comfort level when it’s hot out, maintain good indoor air quality and increase the value of your property by as much as 10.

When you are ready to make the purchase, call the central air conditioning experts at Integrity Home Solutions in Tampa, FL for answers to all your questions and for help in choosing the right central AC system for your old house.

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